If you live in one of the thousands of homes in this country equipped with a fireplace, then you may be wasting tons of energy and not even know about it! Fireplaces make a beautiful addition to any home, and create a focal point in the room that draws family and friends together when a fire is lit. However, the problem with fireplaces is that they are extremely inefficient and in certain circumstances, your fireplace may be costing you up to 30% more every month on your energy bills even when you aren’t using it!
Two Major Problems Caused by Fireplaces
- Heat Loss: Depending on the type of fireplace you have, heat loss could be happening in one of two ways. For older fireplaces that do not have a damper leading to the outdoors, heat loss occurs when the fire is burning. The fireplace is using the air inside the home for combustion, and is therefore sucking any hot air in the home (either created by the fireplace or forced air furnace) out the chimney.
If you have a newer fireplace that has a damper to the outdoors, you are still suffering from heat loss. Unless you have insulated or blocked the damper in some way, cold air from the outdoors could be pouring into your home even when the fire is not lit. Closing the damper prevents this somewhat, but insulating the damper in between uses will save big bucks on your energy bills.
- Inefficiency: Many people operate under the misconception that using the fireplace over the furnace will save big bucks on the monthly energy bills, but even if the fireplace burns wood instead of gas, it is very inefficient. Even some of the oldest most inefficient gas furnaces are more efficient than the fireplace. So, it is best to invest a little money in improving the furnace’s efficiency rather than using the fireplace instead.
Trying to Save Money?
If you have been using the fireplace more often in an effort to use the furnace less, there is a better way to save money! Make some investments in your current furnace’s efficiency or replace the old inefficient furnace altogether. A furnace maintenance tune-up from Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning will help that old furnace get back on track. A tune-up from Four Seasons will get the furnace or boiler operating as close to factory specifications as possible. That means that your furnace will be running more efficiently, and you will notice the savings.
Upgrade to Save!
If you have the means to do so, now couldn’t be a better time to replace the furnace. Old furnaces operate at about 65% AFUE. That means that they waste about 35% of the fuel during combustion. New high efficiency furnaces and boilers are over 80% efficient and some are even over 95% AFUE! That will have a dramatic impact on the amount of money you pay monthly on your energy bills. With the help of Four Seasons, we can find you the right heating system to save you money, and if you act now, you can take advantage of the government’s tax credits! Before you fire up the fireplace on more time, call Four Seasons and see how we can save your money today!